Before the beginning of the 2011 season and after a long whirlwind induced by a lockout, Cardinals fans were greeted with some great news. The best player in franchise history, Larry Fitzgerald, signed an 8-year, $120 million contract that would keep him in Arizona through his 36th birthday and, likely, the rest of his career.
Fitzgerald signed the contract in the hopes that one day he could reach another Super Bowl with the Arizona Cardinals -- only this time, he wants to win it. With the trade for Kevin Kolb (which was a move the Cardinals had to make if they wanted to lock Fitz up), Fitzgerald got a sign and a promise from ownership that they were going to do whatever they could to create a winning culture.
Now, it seems that that time is long gone. Kolb is continuously injured and on the sidelines. John Skelton has proven to be an awful solution at the quarterback position. Ryan Lindley is just a rookie, and by all accounts, a mini version of Skelton. The team has a great defense, but no club can win while being good on just one side of the ball.
With the Cardinals sitting at 5-10 right now and likely to close the season with another loss to the 49ers, it will mark the third straight season Arizona finishes with a .500 or worse record. Is this really what Fitz signed up for? A franchise that simply cannot find itself out of a giant hole?
When I think about it, I wonder if Fitzgerald would have signed that contract knowing that he would be in this situation now. He is obviously frustrated (who wouldn't be) and could have still obtained a monster contract with any other team that wanted him had he opted for free agency. Think if a team like the Patriots or Packers could have had him. I think Fitz may have preferred that.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not advocating for a 'Free Fitz' movement by any means. He signed the deal and I love watching him play for the Cardinals. I just think that if he could do it all over again, he might do it differently. If anything, he definitely would have added some sort of clause allowing him to opt out of the contract if the team is playing poorly. He obviously would never admit that publicly, but it has undoubtedly crossed his mind before.
What do you think? Would Fitz do things differently if he could go back in time?
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